I hope that everyone survived Storm Doris. Sara (Donner Sara B) ended up having a duvet day, and I took the opportunity at lunch time at work to buy Sara’s British Eventing (BE) membership and enter our first competition Stafford around the BE100 (I am putting my brave pants on).

Last weekend I had a pony-filled time planned, cross-country training on Saturday followed by a combined training competition on Sunday.

I currently have two horses that are in preparation for the season; Sara and my little homebred mare Lily (Perchance). I had back-to-back group lessons planned with the very talented Andrew Heffernan at Somerford Park.

I was looking forward to my first training session of the year on grass, however the weather had other ideas and the cross-country field was too wet so we used the cross-country training arena instead. Lily was up first so I dragged her off the horsebox, jumped on and away we went. With 10 minutes to go on my session with Lily, I sent mum to the horsebox to get Sara ready. Andy gave me a very quizzical look and pointed out that he was off for lunch. Cue a lot of confusion, I had somehow completely miscalculated my times, missed Lily’s lesson and put her in Sara’s lesson, which left Sara all dressed up with nowhere to go. Unfortunately all the facilities were fully booked so Sara got a trip out but never actually set foot off the box.

Continued below…

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We got home and I thought that I would take Sara on a little hack and then do some grid work in the arena. Now at this point I would like to say that we currently have a temporary guest (who goes by the name of Boston) on the yard after Doris left him homeless. We had a lovely hack then headed to the arena. Our temporary guest is in the field next to the arena so came over to say hello. Apparently Sara thinks that he is rather dashing, so every time we went past him, Sara transitioned into some lovely passage and squealed like a teenage girl at a Justin Bieber concert. Now I have to confess I was not brave enough to jump her but it really was the most amazing collection I have ever felt! Sara has never been mare-ish but maybe it is time to look into a hormonal calmer.

Last Sunday we headed to Reaseheath College for some combined training. I was very conscious of the time and got there an hour early. We were going straight into the 1m class. Sara warmed up well and the wind was definitely putting a spring in her step. We went into the dressage and it was blowing a gale with lots of clattering and haylage wrap flapping, but Sara did a lovely test (though I clearly need to work on my shapes in the arena). We then headed straight onto the showjumping. I think that the most stressful part was trying to teach mum how to take a photo with my phone! I am not keen on showjumping and neither is Sara — it is definitely our bogie phase — but that said, she had one little rub but came home clear and managed to win the class — not bad for our first competition of the year and I am hoping that I have started the way I mean to go on!

Love Carrie (and Sara)